REPOST: RAC Challenge! #23: PenUltimate Chapter!

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at
Sat Jan 9 12:00:48 PST 2016

Chapter by Michael Mendoza who I think was involved with
the Patrol Imprint and did some review series for
RACC (Doser's Reviews or something like that?)..

From: franke at (Jerry L Franke)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative
Subject: REPOST: RAC Challenge! PenUltimate Chapter!
Date: 4 Dec 1995 04:04:48 GMT

Here's that last repost!  Be here tomorrow for the grand finale!!!!


                                RAC CHALLENGE!
Chapter 23: "Is That a Pack of Sugarless Gum in Your Pocket, or Are You Just
Glad to See Me?"

   by Michael Mendoza
   title by Frank W. Patnaude, Jr.
   In the murky depths of unconsciousness, knowledge came to Paragon the
   Ultimate Man. It was not a new sensation, but never had he experienced
   such clarity. He understood the true nature of his Ultimate Power, and
   why he was chosen by the Ultimate Collective. He also knew that, in
   order to preserve the fragile fabric of the Multiverse, Earth's sun
   had to die.
   Earlier, he felt like he was a ghost who occasionally experienced
   periods of life. Now he knew why he felt like that. He was dead.
   Somehow, he knew that he died at the age of 12. His uncle, Horst
   Bock-Pilsner Malevo, used the Ultimate Marble to ressurect him.
   Instead, he drew every Dirk Darrenger in the Multiverse from their
   respective alternate dimensions and merged them into one being, whom
   he mistook for his ressurected nephew.
   Dirk's new Omniversal body made him the perfect candidate to receive
   the Ultimate Power, but his existence had dangerously weakened
   reality. The ridiculous events of the past few months are a clear sign
   of this. To heal reality, Dirk must split himself back into multiple
   beings throughout the Multiverse. Every Dirk that he had seen in his
   dreams will each live their own lives.
   But splitting himself up will require a tremendous explosion. For
   example, the explosion of Earth's sun. Dirk's weakness to intense
   solar radiation will shatter him when the sun goes boom, the countless
   Dirk Darrengers will return to their worlds, and all will be right
   with the Multiverse.
   Paragon also knew that his current writer was from the Patrollers
   Universe, and he thanked the Collective that this story actually saw
   the light of day.
   Dirk woke up in a secret bunker underneath Washington DC. He lay on a
   comfortable bed and he was wrapped in silk sheets. Two giant,
   armor-plated PEZ dispensers towered over him. One was modeled after
   Donald Duck, the other after Donny Osmond.
   Dirk instantly recognized the war machines which had knocked him
   unconscious back in Dr. Malevo's secret lab. They were the robot
   sentries of the Candy Commandos, an elite strikeforce modeled after
   the candy products of the late twentieth century. They came from the
   year 2259 of Alternate Future # 491320431980.
   The Paragon of that future timeline sent the Candy Commandos to the
   year 1995 to knock out the present-day Paragon. While unconscious, his
   connection to the Universe Wide Web would solidify.
   That's how Dirk knew all this now. He was actively drawing information
   from the Web, rather than passively tapping it through strange dreams.
   The Power Enforcement Ziggarauts backed away from Dirk's bed. From
   behind them came four blonde, chipper-looking Nordic young adults.
   Dirk looked at one of them and muttered softly, "Is that a pack of
   sugarless gum in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?"
   "Actually, sir," he replied, "it's the source of our powers." He
   reached into his pocket and pulled out a roll of candy mints.
   "Oh yeah," Dirk said. "I know who you are. You're the Freshmaker
   Corps." Dirk accessed the Web and learned that the Freshmakers were
   the elite troops of the Candy Commandos. By ingesting their mints,
   which were irradiated by quadraflux energy, they gained the incredible
   powers to annoy old people in irreverent yet non-threatening manners.
   For the first time in his life, Dirk actually missed the Ultimate
   Back in the secret lab of Dr. Malevo, the OMNI-2995 computer system
   continued the experiment which Paragon initiated. Wild streams of
   energy flowed through the capacitors which lined the walls of the lab.
   "Initiate dimensional grid realignment" boomed the sterile voice of
   the OMNI.
   A panel opened in the street above the lab. Out of it rose the
   Hyper-Cannon, an invention so unpredictable, even Malevo dared not use
   it in his plots against the Ultimate Man. Yet, fate decreed that the
   cosmic contraption would come to life now. It fired the strange
   energies generated by the lab into the air. Bolts of hyper-dimensional
   energy shot forth and spanned the globe.
   The lanes of the Interdimensional Superhighway realigned themselves
   under the influence of the Hyper-Cannon.
   And with it realigned the fate of the world.
   "Everyone move as quickly and as calmly as possible, and you'll all be
   safe!" shouted the Atomic Atlas. He was a member of Earth's greatest
   heroes, the Delta Squadron. The Atlas helped direct the masses of
   Dixon City through a glimmering portal.
   That portal was maintained by Torbin, a member of the Settlers. The
   Settlers were a band of time-travellers from Earth's future. They
   desperately tried to transport all of Earth's inhabitants to the
   planet Gammani, which they had colonized in the future, before the sun
   The evacuation process was overseen by Aridalla, another Settler. She
   is the one who foresaw Earth's inevitable destruction. At least, she
   believed that it was inevitable, and no one else said otherwise.
   When the last of Dixon City's inhabitants walked through the portal,
   Torbin closed it. Suddenly, Ariadalla screamed, "No! Don't close the
   portal!" But her warning was too late.
   The Atomic Atlas shrunk down to his normal size and asked, "What's
   wrong? Did you have another vision?"
   "Yes. The portal was altered. It didn't lead to Gammani!"
   "Where did it lead?" asked Atlas.
   "It... it lead into a lifeless void. All those people are now dead."
   "No!" cried the Atomic Atlas. "Who could have done such a horrible
   Aridalla's eyes narrowed. "Paragon," she said.
   "That bastard! I knew we couldn't trust him!" Atlas reached for his
   communicator. "I'll alert the rest of the Squadron and we'll get him-"
   "No! The Settlers will take care of Paragon. You organize the rest of
   Earth's population."
   "If you insist," Atlas said warily.
   "Indeed, I do," said Aridalla.
   Torbin frowned with worry. He knew Aridalla was lying.
   Torbin, directed by Aridalla's visionary powers, teleported the
   Settlers into the secret bunker of the Candy Commandos.
   "You bastard!" Aridalla shouted at Paragon. "How dare you interfere
   with our evacuation process!"
   Paragon raised his hands in a gesture of peace. "Please, let me
   explain everything."
   "You're disrupting the natural flow of events."
   "That's where you're wrong," replied Paragon. "There is no natural
   flow of events. There is no one set path. Surely, with your tenuous
   connection to the Universal Wide Web, you can understand that?"
   "What I understand is that you stole our colonists when you realigned
   the Interdimensional Superhighway."
   "They are not your colonists. They are human beings with a right not
   to endure the horrible life you have planned for them on Gammani. A
   life full of hideous mutations and death!"
   "How do you know about that?"
   "I know because I've finally opened my eyes. And all it took was a
   rocket blast from a giant PEZ dispenser."
   "I also know that I've sent Dixon City's citizens to a paradise, where
   they may live free from the fickle flow of reality."
   The confused refugees from Dixon City looked around. They were in a
   small island city. The buildings had a quaint, Mediterannean
   appearance and cobblestone roads wound all around them. A large sign
   hanging from the tallest nearby structure read WELCOME TO CESSITRALE,
   Two men appeared out of nowhere. One was Dirk Armington, the
   Dragonslayer. The second was the Man in the Black Trenchcoat, and he
   carried a megaphone. "Greetings, everyone. You're probably wondering
   where the hell you are right now. This is a place where all the
   discarded, forgotten, and stillborn literary creations of the RACC can
   find a refuge.
   "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the PRICKworld."
   "The PRICKworld?!" gasped Aridalla. "That's it. Settlers, attack!"
   Paragon lunged at the Settlers, but the mechanical joints in his body
   froze from lack of oil. With a loud CLANK! he hit the ground.
   Pira, the pyrokinetic Settler, laughed and set Dirk on fire.
   A Hulk PEZ robot took out Pira with a cherry flavored missile.
   Malloc, another Settler, hid behind a mannequin and raised force
   fields to protect his teammates.
   But the mannequin was actually Freshmaker-1 in disguise. He knocked
   out Malloc and the force fields dropped.
   Torbin didn't know which side of the battle to take. He was a loyal
   Settler, but somehow, Paragon's words rang true. What was the right
   thing to do?
   Freshmaker-2 sent an army of construction workers into the fray. They
   ran towards Midge, the superlucky Settler, and the floor beneath them
   caved in.
   Freshmaker-3 took pictures while Freshmaker-4 threw on a makeshift
   apron and ran to get a pitcher of water.
   Freshmaker-4 returned with a pitcher of water and a can of oil.
   Unfortunately, he accidentally threw the oil on the burning Paragon
   That's when the whole bunker began to shake. A blinding flash filled
   the room, and when everyone's sight returned, they saw the cosmic
   supervillain Enthropy. "So," he shouted, "You've decided to come out
   of retirement, eh Paragon? Now I'll get a chance to destroy you
   before I destroy your sun!"
   "Enthropy's destroying the sun?" thought the burning Paragon. "I
   didn't know that!"
   Why does Enthropy want to destroy the sun? Who will save Paragon from
   Enthropy? When will Baron von Frankelin find out about this mess?
   These questions will be answered by J. C. Payne in the next chapter of
   the RAC Challenge!:
     * Next issue: "Hot Tub Vigilantes" or "The Secret Life of Newt
       Gingrich" by J. C. Payne
   This has been a Power Rolers Production
   Michael Mendoza



Jerry L. Franke                        franke at
Computer Science Dept.                 Indiana University
formerly from Florida State University

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